A Time to Kill: initial casting announced

Sebastian Arcelus (Jersey Boys, "House of Cards"), Fred Dalton Thompson (in his Broadway debut - "Law & Order") and John Douglas Thompson (Cyrano de Bergerac) will star in the Tony Award-winning playwright Rupert Holmes' stage adaptation of A Time to Kill, John Grisham's best-selling novel, opening at the John Golden Theatre on 20 Oct 2013, following previews from 28 Sep 2013.

This new Broadway play, to be directed by Ethan McSweeny, is the first-ever John Grisham property to be adapted for the stage. Additional information, including the complete casting and creative team, will be announced shortly.

A Time to Kill, a courtroom drama, tells the story of a young, idealistic lawyer, Jack Brigance (Arcelus), defending a black man, Carl Lee Hailey (John Douglas Thompson), for taking the law into his own hands following an unspeakable crime committed against his young daughter. Their small Mississippi town is thrown into upheaval, and Jake finds himself arguing against the formidable district attorney, Rufus Buckley, and under attack from both sides of a racially divided city.

Playwright Rupert Holmes said,

Master storytellers are masterful dramatists of the stage on the page, and the thrill of bringing John Grisham's vivid cast of remarkable characters and his riveting American classic of race and justice to Broadway is the stuff that any playwright's dreams are made of. I'm particularly thrilled that Daryl Roth and Eva Price have brought such magnetic, compelling actors into A Time to Kill's dramatic arsenal.
The design team for A Time to Kill will feature scenic design by James Noone, costume design by David Woolard, lighting design by Jeff Croiter, sound design by Lindsay Jones and projection design by Jeff Sugg.


Sebastian Arcelus (Jack Brigance) can currently be seen as "Lucas Goodwin" on the Netflix original series "House of Cards," which just received 9 Emmy Award nominations including Outstanding Drama Series. He has starred on Broadway in 'Elf' (Buddy), 'Jersey Boys' (Bob Gaudio), 'Wicked' (Fiyero), 'Rent' (Roger Davis) and 'Good Vibrations.' Off-Broadway credits include 'Happiness' (Lincoln Center Theater), 'The Blue Flower' (Second Stage) and 'Where's Charley?' (Encores! at City Center). While rehearsing and performing in A Time To Kill, Sebastian will continue his commitment as a series regular on "House Of Cards."

Fred Dalton Thompson (Judge Noose) has had one of the most unusual and interesting careers on the American scene today. It has encompassed the law, politics, radio, television and motion pictureS. Thompson, a lawyer, first appeared on screen in the film 'Marie' in 1985, portraying himself in the fact-based story of a high-profile public corruption case he handled in Tennessee. Since then, he has appeared in numerous movies including 'No Way Out,' 'In the Line of Fire,' 'Die Hard II,' 'Days of Thunder' and 'The Hunt for Red October.' He became known for his portrayal of New York District Attorney "Arthur Branch" on the Emmy Award-winning NBC television drama, "Law & Order."

John Douglas Thompson (Carl Lee Hailey) can currently be seen in 'Mother Courage' with Olympia Dukakis at Shakespeare & Co. Thompson was the subject of an extensive profile piece in The New Yorker. He recently appeared on stage as 'Harold Loomis' in 'Joe Turner's Come and Gone' directed by Phylicia Rashad at The Mark Taper Forum. Other theatre credits include 'Satchmo' at the Waldorf, 'The Iceman Cometh' with Brian Dennehy and Nathan Lane at The Goodman Theatre, 'Richard III,' 'Othello' (Obie and Lucille Lortel Award), 'The Emperor Jones' (Lucille Lortel Nomination), 'The Forest' with Dianne Weist, 'Cyrano de Bergerac' with Kevin Kline, 'Julius Caesar' with Denzel Washington, 'Henvy IV' at The RSC, 'Antony and Cleopatra' with Kate Mulgrew, 'Hedda Gabler,' 'King Lear' with Sam Waterston, 'Jesus Hopped the A Train' (Barrymore Award). His feature film credits include "The Bourne Legacy" and "Michael Clayton."

John Grisham (novelist) is a best-selling author of legal thrillers, beginning in 1988 with Time to Kill. Since then, he has written a novel a year, amassing 275 million books in print worldwide, which have been translated into 40 languages. Nine of his novels have been turned into films (The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, A Time to Kill, The Rainmaker, The Chamber, A Painted House, The Runaway Jury, and Skipping Christmas), as was an original screenplay, 'The Gingerbread Man.'

Rupert Holmes (playwright) won the 1986 Tony Award for Best Book and Best Score for 'The Mystery of Edwin Drood.' He has also received Tony nominations for 2003 Best Play for 'Say Goodnight Gracie' and 2007 Best Book of a Musical and Best Score for Kander & Ebb's 'Curtains.' His other Broadway credits include 'Solitary Confinement' and 'Accomplice.'

Director Ethan McSweeny made his Broadway debut with the revival of Gore Vidal's 'The Best Man,' which received a 2001 Tony Award® nomination for Best Revival of a Play. His other notable New York credits include the premieres of Kate Fodor's 'Rx' (Primary Stages) and '100 Saints You Should Know '(Playwrights Horizons), and Jason Grote's '1001' (P73). McSweeny directed an earlier version of A Time to Kill at the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.

Sebastian ArcelusFred Dalton ThompsonJohn Douglas Thompson

Originally published on

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